Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss the Catholic Church, big rig safety and the real national anthem history

Go, T-Bones

The Kansas City T-Bones have had a very successful season. I, for one, would have spent the time to read if The Star were covering their playoff games this week and last.

Donna McClure

Kansas City

Low-tech solutions

Why are big rigs treated with kid gloves when it comes to the rules of the road? The Star’s Sept. 9 front-page story, “Lethal inaction,” suggested high-tech solutions to improve truck safety. What about low-tech solutions, such as lower speed limits for big rigs and spot checks for drug and alcohol abuse by their drivers?

On monthly trips to Texas, I have had multiple close calls with big rigs. Recently, we were forced onto the left shoulder by one accelerating from 75 mph — to pass another big rig that was also going 75 mph. This occurred in bumper-to-bumper traffic in both lanes.

Why not set lower speed limits for large trucks? The drivers are well aware they cannot stop quickly.

Let’s check to see if our representatives are receiving financial support from the trucking industry and remind them who’s boss: you, the voter.

Common-sense traffic laws for big rigs might not solve the problem, but they could go a long way in reducing the carnage of car occupants in car-truck collisions.

Carol Elkins


That third verse

So, the outrage from the far right about some black football players taking a knee during the national anthem continues.

As Army staff sergeant Salil Puri, who served in Afghanistan, eloquently pointed out in his Sunday commentary, “Veterans don’t get to decide what ‘respect for the flag’ means,” the national anthem does not belong exclusively to the military, and kneeling during its presentation has absolutely nothing to do with disrespect to the military. (19A)

The national anthem was not written for black Americans like Colin Kaepernick. It was written by Francis Scott Key, a wealthy, slave-owning lawyer who spent much of his legal career opposing rights for African Americans. Key had no belief whatsoever in equality. He stated that blacks “are a distinct and inferior race of people,” and he lived his life following that belief.

The Fox News people who favor mandatory patriotism at football games should be required to read the third verse of the anthem, where Key describes punishing runaway slaves. He was outraged until the day of his death that about 6,000 former slaves voluntarily enlisted in the British Army to fight against the Colonials in 1812 in exchange for their freedom.

Yes, there were people fighting bravely for freedom during the War of 1812, but they sure weren’t white Americans.

Richard L. Warrick


Healing needed

Those criticizing Archbishop Carlo Vigano for his detailed 11-page letter rebuking Pope Francis and others in the Catholic hierarchy, largely related to the pope’s handling of the sexual-abuse crisis, are attacking the messenger and not responding to his credible charges.

These people claim that Vigano has been part of an “ultra conservative” effort to depose Pope Francis since he was elected. Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago even said “they don’t like (Vigano) because he is a Latino,” even though the pope’s parents were Italian.

Vigano is an honorable and faithful man of the church. Dozens of bishops have testified to his integrity. He courageously and singularly acted out of love for the church.

Pope Francis has said he won’t respond to the letter — the same approach he has taken with the request of four reputable Cardinals to clarify parts of the papal exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

Silence is not the answer, though. Squarely facing and acting upon the truth is the only way for Pope Francis and the Catholic Church to move forward and regain trust.

Mark S. Robertson


Not uncommon

The Kansas City Star is attempting to make news where there is none by putting the story, “Alum calls for public apology,” about alleged physical abuse of Rockhurst High School students in the 1960s, on its front page Monday.

To be clear, as a public school teacher who was certified in 1966 and got my first job at a Kansas public junior high school, one of the first things I was shown during my orientation was a large, thick wooden paddle hanging on the wall of my classroom. I was told to use it at my own discretion, with no accountability.

I was also informed that if I did not want to use it — the implication being that as a woman I might not be strong enough to use it — I could send the offending student to the principal to make sure the corporal punishment was imposed.

I never used the paddle. I knew teachers who did.

The only lesson I can take away from The Star’s front-page “news” is that we as a society — public and private — have not treated our children very well, and we all owe them a public apology.

Joanne Bodner

Prairie Village